Aug 032017

Among the 40 films affected by Tuesday’s strike by the Film Employee’s Federation of South India (FEFSI) in Chennai is PA Ranjith’s Rajinikanth-starrer, Kaala Karikalan. An extensive 45-day schedule in Mumbai’s Dharavi was to be followed by a 30-day plan to can action sequences in Chennai’s EVP Studios, where a replica of the Mumbai locality had been recreated.

A source tells mid-day, “Nearly 1,000 employees of the FEFSI participated in the strike. Most of the action sequences were to be shot at the Chennai set. Rajini sir and Huma [Qureshi, co-actor] had filmed for a few portions in Mumbai, but given that a lot of property was going to be damaged while filming the scenes, the unit decided to move to a studio.”

Among those affected by the hit in the schedule is Qureshi, who had specific dates assigned for the Chennai leg, before she jumped into promotional work for her Indo-Brit film, Viceroy’s House. She says, “The strike is affecting the entire industry. I hope all parties concerned solve the issue at the earliest. We look forward to returning to the set and resume shooting.”

While the unit awaits an end to the protest, alternative locations in Mumbai are being scouted. It is speculated that if filming doesn’t resume in a week, the team may return to the city to avoid wasting money and crucial time. Producer Dhanush will decide the further course of action with Rajinikanth over the weekend, the source says.

Yesterday, the South superstar also pleaded with members of both associations to solve the dispute “through peaceful dialogue”. He said, “Strike is one among the words I don’t like. A solution can be found for any issue without giving space to personal egos and keeping in mind the general good. Please hold unconditional talks. About 10,000 persons are affected and even you [producers] are facing losses. As a senior actor, I request members of FEFSI and Tamil Film Producers’ Council to discuss and find a solution to the dispute very soon.”

What irked the FEFSI

The FEFSI, a conglomeration of workers’ union, had called for the strike after the Tamil Film Producers’ Council (TFPC) suggested it would work with craftsmen from outside the union over a dispute on wages. The FEFSI alleged the council had backtracked on a previous agreement based on stipend.

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